Some essential oils have a high cost because the plants used are sometimes rare, and they can come from very far away or not be cultivated, but only grow in the wild. Then, not all of them have the same ”yield”: thus, it takes 25 kg of cistus leaves to produce 5 ml of essential oil against only 2.5 kg of cistus flowers.helichrysum for example.
Picking this plant is rare and difficult. Only the flower buds, picked one by one, are used to make essential oil. Whereas for cistus (another plant from which essential oil is extracted), both the leaves and the twigs are picked. These are two very expensive HE but with different performance.
Are there different qualities of essential oils?
A good essential oil can be bought in pharmacyin an organic shop, under certain brands known for their seriousness, online at a few very reputable suppliers, not on a market in a bare bottle, without the following indications.
The bottle must be made of colored glass, or a metal carboy coated with glass on the inside so as to prevent any contact favoring the exchange of matter. The quality of the essential oil that you buy is indicated on the cardboard packaging the bottle: the words “essential oil 100% pure and natural, 100% integral”, HECT (chemotyped essential oil) or HEBBD (essential oil botanically and biochemically defined) , the name in French and in Latin, the molecule or two most representative of its composition, the name and contact details of the laboratory, the geographical origin of the plant, the organ from which the EO is extracted, the expiry date . Nothing prevents you from requesting the chromatographic analysis of HE, a guarantee of its conformity with the European and French pharmacopoeias.
The more expensive the essential oil, the better it is?
If the price is not an absolute criterion of quality, it can nevertheless be a good indicator. Some essential oils can fetch a high price because of the large amount of raw material needed to produce them or because of the often low yield of distillation. “The palm goes to the rose, explains pharmacist Danièle Festy, since it only provides a few grams per 100 kg! But pistachio lentisk, cistus and especially lemon balm also have a very low yield and necessarily cost very dear”. Avoid EOs whose price is much lower than most of those for the same oil and ask your pharmacist for advice so that he directs you to such and such a supplier whose product quality is recognized.
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